Eddie the Eagle – Eddie Edwards has always been told that he will never be anything special, no-one but himself believes in his dreams to become an Olympian. After receiving rejections as a skier, he decides that his destiny lies in ski jumping; so, with no experience whatsoever, he sets off to Germany to accomplish his aim. With no support, he struggles to learn how to stay upright on the jumps but, befriending former champion ski jumper (but current drunk), Bronson Peary, Eddie’s dreams may just have the wings to take flight after all.
Eddie the Eagle (2016) – Director: Dexter Fletcher
Running Length: 106 mins
Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Keith Allen
Genre: Drama, Comedy
‘EDDIE THE EAGLE’ REVIEW
Based upon the true story of British ski jumper, Michael ‘Eddie’ Edwards, ‘Eddie the Eagle’ documents the life of its eponymous hero from his difficult childhood of disability up until his most famous Olympic moment. Told in a similar way to the fantastic but largely fictional ‘Cool Runnings’ (in fact, the Jamaican bobsledders are briefly mentioned in the movie), this movie takes rather a few liberties with the truth but at its heart warming core is a very relatable message of tenacity and determination.
Taron Egerton is incredibly likeable as Eddie, the irreproachable young man who simply won’t give up, no matter the obstacle. His infectious fight to succeed touches everyone around him and it isn’t long before arrogant and disinterested former jumper, Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), is rooting for him and helping with his training. What stands out most is Eddie’s innocent, irrepressible enthusiasm; nothing brings him down and he simply doesn’t know how to give up. The constant (almost marriage-breaking) support of his mother (Jo Hartley) pushes him when his dreams seem out of reach which goes a long way to explain Eddie’s personality and while his father is much more realistic, the love he has for his son shines through making it an enjoyable family life to watch.
While it may not be entirely factual, the essence of Eddie’s story is well and truly captured in this highly entertaining story. ‘Eddie the Eagle’ is funny, heart warming, poignant and inspiring showing that the most unlikely of people can achieve the unthinkable.
IS ‘EDDIE THE EAGLE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
A boy leaves his house at night, he tells his parents where he is going but heads out alone and no-one makes an attempt to stop him. His blasé attitude suggests that he does this on a regular basis. After walking for a few minutes, a van pulls up nearby, a man leans out the window and begins a friendly conversation with the boy, it is clear the two know each other. The man tells the boy to get into the van which the boy reluctantly does. It is soon shown that this man is the boy’s father and therefore this scene is not as sinister as it may initially seem. While this scene is very innocent, its lack of danger may be of concern for parents of impressionable kids accepting invitations from ‘strangers’.
A woman finds Eddie sleeping in a hidden area of her establishment and while she doesn’t mind him being there, she approaches him with the clear intention of seducing him. She gets very close to him and says ‘maybe sometimes I come and visit you?’. This makes Eddie extremely awkward and he is clearly not interested, after he initial attempt, she never mentions it again and the pair become platonic friends.
There are a few casual mentions of death throughout the movie. The slopes are extremely dangerous and one character says that, with the highest slope, jumpers may as well be measured for their coffin on their way up. One character casually bets another that someone will be ‘dead by the weekend’. There are also several falls on the jumps, the dialogue says that these types of falls often lead to severe injuries such as broken bones. Some of the falls are quite brutal but nothing too graphic is seen although some blood and bruising is seen after one particularly bad fall.
One character has a drinking problem and constantly carries a hip flask around with him, so much so that he refers to it as his ‘jacket’ i.e. it keeps him warm. He rarely appears overly drunk although in one scene he starts a fight which involves him getting punched in the face and knocked out cold. This character also smokes a lot.
During his training, Eddie is asked to envision making love to his favourite movie star, his trainer talks about foreplay, humps the air while making grunting and groaning noises and then describes making the jump as the ‘release’. This is quite gratuitous and is likely to raise some questions from inquisitive youngsters.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘EDDIE THE EAGLE’ FOR KIDS?
‘Eddie the Eagle’ is a great little Brit flick the encompasses everything that a true underdog story should and the fact that it is based on a real-life unlikely hero just puts the icing on the cake. Due to some injury caused by falls and relatively mild sexual references, we feel this movie should be appropriate for kids aged seven and over.
- Violence: 1/5 (a character is punched in the face and collapses to the floor. A few bad falls from ski jumps which are likely to result in serious injury)
- Emotional Distress: 1/5 (some disappointment at rejections but nothing too upsetting)
- Fear Factor: 0/5
- Sexual Content: 2/5 (a man walks into a sauna full of naked men unabashedly lounging around, he is instantly very uncomfortable and does everything he can to not look at their nudity)
- Bad Language: 2/5 (some infrequent mild cursing and blasphemy)
- Dialogue: 1/5
- Other Notes: Deals with themes of not giving up, tenacity, adapting your circumstances according to your skill, prejudice, accepting your weaknesses, supporting your loved ones, Olympic dreams and doing all you can to achieve greatness.
Words by Laura Record